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U.S. Politics and Greater Regulation of Inward Foreign Direct Investment

C. S. Eliot Kang
International Organization
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), pp. 301-333
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2703452
Page Count: 33
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U.S. Politics and Greater Regulation of Inward Foreign Direct Investment
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Abstract

The "structural choice" approach to analyzing public policymaking can explain why U.S. policy toward inward foreign direct investment has changed over time from one of benign neglect to one of discretionary restriction in some sectors. In short, the transformation has resulted from elected policymakers' shifting calculations with respect to their perceptions of the national interest and their own political objectives. These policy dynamics are evident in the origin of and the transformation in the composition, mission, and authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the institution at the heart of the regulatory regime targeting inward foreign direct investment. As agents of the electorate and as principals animating administrative institutions of government, these elected congressional and executive policymakers have determined the amount and types of discretion granted to CFIUS in a manner consistent with their political interests and with anticipated problems of overseeing delegated power.

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